AI Autonomous and Incremental Deep Learning for IoT Systems

IOT is the abbreviation for Internet Of Things. IOT is a hot topic that is buzzing around and has gained relevance in today’s scenerio. Among tons of machine learning applications, IOT is among one of them. So what exactly IOT is? Before we discuss the topic in detail let us first equip ourselves about the concept of IOT.

What is IOT?

IOT is known as Internet of Things. It is a system of interconnected devices that share the real time information among them in a network. You may have heard of self driven cars, wearable fitness devices etc. These all are an example of IOT. Machine learning products provide you the solution that is affecting lives of million people.

How exactly IOT functions?

Well numerous devices having sensors are interconnected among themselves on a common platform known as Internet of Things. It helps in sharing data between the devices and provide the desired outputs. This helps in decreasing the gap between physical world and the digital networks. 

Take an example of a retail showroom. IOT can help retail showroom in following ways:

By using sensors, IOT can help to know that which the areas where customer is roaming the most are.

Moreover, by applying sensors in shelves of product counter, IOT can tell that which product consumers picked up, put down or buy the product.

IOT also helps in bridging the gap between supply and demand chain by determining that which product is in most demand and which is not.

Having ample knowledge about the IOT, now let us discuss about machine learning applications in IOT.

IOT in Smart Homes: Imagine how awesome it would be if you could turn on your AC before you reach home after a long working day. Or you house can recognise your voice and perform tasks according to your instructions like turning on off lights, turn on your coffee machine, make coffee for you. Life would be a lot easier.

IOT is helping in building such smart homes that can change our way of living drastically.

IOT in Weather Forecasting: IOT helps in weather forecasting by informing about the details of weather well before time. This has helped a lot in the agriculture sector. In this way farmers can take critical decisions like sowing, harvesting of crops.

Smart Wearable Gadgets: Today, market is booming with the wearable gadgets. You may have heard about fitness bands that keep a check on your heart rate, number of steps you have taken on a particular day, calories burnt count etc. These gadgets have become integral part of our lives.

IOT in Medical: IOT helps in building smart medical devices that are interconnected with each other. These devices provide all the information regarding to that patient. IOT helps in bringing huge amount of data together, process them and give information about various diseases of the patient.

It also keeps record of patient’s previous diseases and also the diseases to which the patient is prone to in upcoming future.

Self-Driven Smart Cars: IOT can help in building self driven smart cars. These cars require information about your destination. Rest, it will take you to your destination in time and without any driver. They can turn on/off AC, maintain temperature, look for obstacles. It also helps in avoiding collision with other cars also, making your journey safe and comfortable.

Face Recognition System: IOT helps in building face recognition system which can be a great security advancement. Many smart phones or security systems has used it for securing the systems. Moreover, emotional analysis of people can help in getting more information about the consumer reaction in a retail mall. In this way retailers can get an insight of the consumer behaviour and how they are reacting on the product.

IOT in Building Smart Cities: IOT helps in building smart cities by improving the transportation, water supply, electricity supply, water distribution etc.It does so by generating many solutions to the problems and choosing the best possible solution. Machine learning models helps in achieving this goal by building smart IOT solutions for the cities.

IOT solves many everyday issues that people face in day to day life like controlling traffic, finding parking spots, blockage in the drainage systems etc.

IOT in Financial Sector: As we all know that financial sector comprises of huge amount of data. This data needs to be processed and cracked down. This help in predicting the future trend of the market. This help in businesses to minimize the risk factor, determining consumer behaviour.

IOT in Animal Husbandry: IOT is also helping in the animal husbandry sector. For example in dairy farming, proper check can be kept on the cows like their weight, calories intake. It also inform about the sick animals so that they get recognised and proper treatment is given to them.

With the help of IOT, animal husbandry becomes easier and also health of animals is at check. Also by collecting large amount of data, milk production can be increased to many folds.

So we get to know about various applications of machine learning in IOT. And how IOT is affecting life of millions of people. IOT is one of the machine learning business applications that has gained momentum in past few years and is going to increase further in upcoming years.

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How Recommendation Engine Use Artificial Intelligence for E-Commerce Industry

In the present era, shopping is an irrefutable need of people. If you will conduct a study regarding shopping, you will find the maximum percentage of people loves shopping. However, there is drastic change in way people do shopping. In earlier times, vendors knew about the preferences and needs of customer to make recommendation based on past purchases. In this way, vendor wins the brand loyalty which increase their profitability and sales.

With the advent of technology, online shopping replaces the traditional shopping. Now a king’s size of people shop online rather than going in shops, malls etc. Additionally, recommendations are made by smart recommendation system which is based on AI algorithm.

Apart from this, you can also think this an intelligent salesman who knows customer preference, needs, style and taste to make smart decision about recommendation right things to people. Further, right recommendation increases the conversion and sales which leads to huge profit for some brand.

Let’s see what are recommendation system and how does they work?

What are Recommendation Systems?

There is basic definition for recommendation systems  is “These are generally information filtering system that filter out the important and relevant information from a enormous amount of dynamically generated information based on user’s past preferences, purchases, interests or behavior”.

Apart from this, it is one of the major concepts of Artificial Intelligence which has made great advancement in technology.

A Recommendation system can also be consider as target marketing tool for online business especially for E-commerce platform. For example, In Facebook, there is an option “People You May Know” used to recommend people base on mutual friends or other things as well.  In Google, you can see “Visually Similar Images” and In Amazon which is one of most popular e-commerce store shows recommendation in “Customer who bought this item also bought. There are various Artificial Intelligence based software companies.

How does Recommendation System Works?

Recommendation systems are based on AI algorithm which has the ability to learn and predict most preferred or liked product for user. A typical recommendation system is very intelligent that can work smartly in a dynamic environment. They generally used to past data to see which products are most preferred, purchased or liked by the customers. Artificial Intelligence service offerings various services for machine learning, deep learning technologies.

Data Filtration is the most important phase for recommendation system. Here data is got filtered out for making right recommendation. There are various algorithms used for data filtration or we can say recommending data as well.  In this article we will discuss about Content-Based Recommendation System:

Content based Filtering is based on keywords used by user for describing preferences, items etc. Basically, this filters out the items or products that have similar characteristics to what user liked or viewed previously. There are various companies working on artificial intelligence in India.

Content-based filtering is using the technique to analyze a set of documents and descriptions of items previously rated by a user, and then build a profile or model of the users interests based on the features of those rated items. Using the profile, the recommender system can filter out the suggestions that would fit for the user.  Let’s elaborate it in a simple way, whenever we try to watch some movies on Netflix, searching clothes online, blogs, watching videos on YouTube, you will get message like this

  • Recommended for you
  • You will also like this
  • Frequently bought item
  • Product related to this item.

Thus, there are number of messages that will be shown to you but they all have the same meaning at the end.  They are just recommending you to choose an item. And that’s because this convoluted systems have a profile of the users, and they know what kind of items they tend to consume. They just try to come up with items you will more probably like, instead of the most popular, or just a random set of items that might not be of your taste. AI vendors put great efforts to make this system comfortable.

In the nutshell, we can say that a lot of money has been put by the E-commerce’s, such as Amazon or EBay in US in recommendation system.   Basically their main aim is to woo users to buy more things.  Therefore, they are building great teams to improve the accuracy of their recommender.

How to Provide the Best Candidate Experience When Recruiting Executives?

To recruit the best executive for a top-level position, you need to provide the impeccable candidate experience.

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Importance of candidate experience in executive recruiting

When recruiting any candidate today, you really need to work hard to provide the best possible candidate experience. When it comes to executive recruiting, your efforts to improve your candidate experience should be scaled 10X.

Finding and hiring the ideal job candidate for your company’s C-suite level is a challenging task.

This is because the best senior executive talent is being courted by many different companies. With the unemployment rate lower than ever, companies are competing for the best talent at all levels, especially at the executive level. Top-level executives know they are in demand and that they can choose where they want to work. To make sure that your company will stand out as their employer of choice, you need to provide an impeccable candidate experience.

How to provide the best candidate experience when recruiting executives?

Be discrete

According to Experteer career services survey:

  • 86.9% of executive candidates prefer being contacted through a private email address or via online networks (77.9%).

Contact your potential executive candidates through their private email or personal social media profile. In the first contact, ensure them that you will maintain confidentiality and be discrete throughout the whole process.

Build relationships

The critical part of executive recruiting is building relationships with your candidates. In order to do that, you need to adopt a highly personalized approach. The candidate should always be in the focus of your recruitment process.

Remember, the best executive candidates is hard to find and even harder to persuade to make a move. This is why you shouldn’t attempt to sell your position immediately.

Instead, focus on getting to know your candidate first.

Go the extra mile

Going the extra mile in when recruiting executives can make or break your hiring process. Since these candidates are high in demand and approached by many different companies, they have probably seen and heard it all.

This is why you need to differentiate your approach and go the extra mile. Demonstrate how much your company is invested and committed to hire them and implement personalized touches to make your executive candidates feel special.

4 Ways to Streamline Staff Management with Technology

Technology is helping small businesses do more with less. This helps them compete with larger businesses that used to have a competitive advantage due to their ability to buy and distribute in bulk to offer lower prices. Small businesses are not the only ones benefitting from technology, however. Technology also helps larger businesses streamline their processes, gain better insights into where their business is booming and where it is failing and even cut down on waste. One of the many things that technology is helping businesses to do is to better manage their human resources. Here are 4 ways that technology can help you streamline your staff management.

1. Centralize access to the most up-to-date information

A great deal of time is spent transferring documents and information back and forth between departments and even within departments. HR in particular is often inundated with requests for information regarding benefits and incentive packages. In many cases, employees end up with out-of-date SOP’s or other forms, documents and paperwork stored on hard drives that they end up passing along to others. This is like the members of a football team all working from a different playbook.

No matter how large or small your business may be, setting up a secure internal intranet can help keep everyone in the loop and working from the same playbook. An intranet also offers powerful search features, which can help employees quickly find just what they need exactly when they need it.

2. Better scheduling

Scheduling often remains one of the biggest nightmares of most businesses. The truth is, employees have lives, which often come into conflict with the needs of the business. Large businesses struggle with having a bigger staff to manage, but small businesses struggle with having a single individual overseeing a number of employees. Automating your scheduling can go a long way towards keeping everyone happy.

Business owners and managers can input the scheduling needs of their business and employees can request time off or make shift changes directly in the system. If an employee is trying to trade shifts with someone who is not actually qualified to do their job, the system can check for that as well. Automating your scheduling helps avoid double booking employees or booking employees when you verbally agreed to give them time off. It also ensures you don’t end up with three of your 15 employees all out on vacation at the same time.

3. Better communication

It is important to keep in mind that more communication is not necessarily better communication. Employees are often inundated with so much communication through so many channels that they don’t have any time to actually get their work done. In addition, requests for information can start in an email, get sent back via chat and passed on to someone else via text message. This makes continuity almost impossible and information can’t be adequately searched when so many outlets are involved.

Effective communication requires setting up specific channels for specific types of communications and keeping them consistent. Instead of allowing your administrative assistant to send out several emails a day about general office business, you can set up a digital bulletin board that employees can check once a day. Individual departments or teams can still communication via their preferred method of communication internally, but you can use a secure intranet for inter-departmental communications. The best part about digital bulletin boards, however, is you can also post items in a single office or across the globe right from your desk.

4. Use the right tools

Theoretically, you can remove a Phillip’s-head screw with a standard screwdriver. If you need to remove one screw, it can do the job just fine, but if you need to remove 100 screws, your efficiency will diminish significantly. Having the right tools can significantly increase productivity and create a smooth, streamlined process. Using the wrong tools not only leads to decreased efficiency, but often results in a frustrated staff, which can in turn have a decidedly negative effect on the work environment as a whole.

Getting the right tools, however, also requires balance. The exact right tool for your accounting department might be different from your marketing department, while the tool that is right for the business as a whole may be more suited to sales than to marketing or finance. As in all of life, the needs of the individual (or department) have to always be balanced against the collective needs of the business as a whole. Remember the goal is not necessarily to make everyone happy, its to get everyone working together efficiently. Knowing you are doing your job well, however, creates job satisfaction, which will trump happiness every time. Providing the right tools for your staff to do their jobs well can create a far better environment for all of your employees.

Wrapping Up

Managers and small business owners can feel overwhelmed by the needs of their staff no to mention severely outnumbered. Technology can help balance the scales. Technology can help your staff operate more independently while still functioning together as a single unit or team. Technology can also help manage traditionally difficult issues like scheduling and the distribution of benefits information. Moving to a new system may cause some turbulence at first, but it can also create far smoother sailing over the long haul.

 

Moving Forward After Funding Failure

One of the toughest things about starting or sustaining a business is finding funding. Whether for a startup effort, an expansion, product development, or more aggressive marketing, every business needs money, and many times that means outside funding. There are a few ways to get outside money for your business:

  • Traditional Business Loans: Available from banks, credit unions, or small business administration and government loans, these are traditional ways of funding. Essentially, a business takes out a secured or unsecured loan and pays it back in installments with interest.
  • Venture Capital/Angel Investors: This funding comes from individuals or groups who invest in businesses in exchange for a percentage of profits and a portion of the proceeds if the business is sold or stock options if it goes public.
  • Crowdfunding: A relatively new method for business, this is when you use platforms like Kickstarter to get funding from those who are interested in your product or service.
  • IPO: When a company sells stock that is publicly traded.

There are other methods of internal funding and less conventional funding like seeking loans from friends and family. Essentially, for all of these different methods, you must prove that your business has either made money in the past or has the potential to make enough money to be worth investors’ time and money.

None of these methods of funding are guaranteed. So what happens when you go after funding and you don’t get it? Here are some keys to moving forward after funding failure:

Evaluate What Went Wrong (If Anything)

Depending on the type of funding you were seeking, there could be a number of reasons you did not get it. It is a good idea at this point for you to see the same issues lenders saw so you can fix them if possible. If it is not possible to fix the issue, then you might have to reconsider your growth rate or even your business idea. Here are a few things that could have gone wrong:

  • Your Personal Credit Score Is Too Low: When your startup is new, your business has no credit rating of its own. Everything is tied to you as the business backer. If your credit score is not stellar, a lender might see your business as a credit risk.
  • Your Pitch Did Not Inspire Investors: Investors hear a lot of pitches, and you should simply be prepared to hear “no” a lot.
  • Your Business Model Needs Work: While your idea might be great, you also need a path to making money, and yours may need refining before you apply for funding. You also may be losing money in ways that are not obvious to you but that investors see. Look for funding holes and repair them.

In his book, Lost and Founder, Rand Fishkin, founder of MOZ, reminds readers that when it comes to business, 5 in 10 will fail. Three of those that succeed will only make a small amount of money for investors, and two will make up for all the rest. Venture capitalists and even banks are looking for those two.

Even LegalZoom failed in their initial IPO before raising $500 million in their latest round of funding, which was designed to give current investors liquidity and move on to investors with a longer term outlook. Even large, successful companies have failed to get funding from time to time. Sometimes, it’s nothing you did wrong at all; you may just have asked the wrong people or at the wrong time.

Evaluate Where You Are Without That Funding

Just because you did not get this round of funding does not mean things are over. It is likely you are not out of business, but you will have to evaluate where you are now, as disappointing as that might seem, and where you need to go from here.

The first thing to do is look at your earnings now. This can also help with the previous step and determining what went wrong. Good accounting practices let you see if you need to scale back growth, return leased equipment, or take other steps to keep your business going. One of the most important steps to this is looking at your current cash flow. What kind of money do you need to cover your daily operations? Do you have that money coming in?

Secondly, look at why you wanted or needed that money in the first place. Was the need immediate, or was it to finance future projects that can be put on hold? If the answer falls into the second category, you can take some time to evaluate those projects and look for alternate funding sources or even shift your company focus.

Seek Other Funding Sources

No matter how you tried to get funding, there are other sources. If venture capital failed, you may have to look at loans. If one or both of those failed, you may want to look more creatively at some crowdfunding options. You may even simply want to look at other investors or banking options.

In business, a “no” often simply means you are that much closer to a “yes,” and that is no different with funding than with anything else. If one thing did not work, try another one. If you heard no, ask someone else, or reset once you have determined what went wrong and fixed it, and then ask again. This means expanding your network and practicing your people skills and sales pitches at conferences and wherever you go.

Even after funding failure, business is about moving forward, even if that means stumbling forward for a bit until you can get on your feet again. There’s no time to stop and wrestle with regret. A business that is not moving forward is already moving backward. Determine what went wrong if possible, take stock of where you are now, and seek other funding sources. This “no” may simply be one more step on your way to a “yes” and a successful round of company funding.

How to start your own Healthcare business?

Have you been planning to start your healthcare business for a long time? Are you unable to gain the proper comprehension for initiating the business in this field? If the answers are yes, then you don’t have to worry now as the article will be including the information of the aspect.

All you have to do is going through the information given below.

Tips for starting healthcare business

Gathering information about the business aspect

A lot of people who are intending to initiate their own business make their biggest mistake as they plan to get into it without even collecting the appropriate information. It is vital that if you want to run a healthcare business, then you must initiate from gathering the data.

Without gathering the information, you cannot expect that the business is going to be successful and will give you any results. You must be able to look after the finances so that beginning is smooth. Make sure to research about the business and situation in the market. You can even get in touch with the service providers of insurance.

In this day and age, there are consultants available offering the guidance that is priceless in regards to money. You can hire them for attaining the benefits. Therefore, before planning for the business, you need to be assured that all of the information is gathered.

Determine the structure of your business

The second step for your healthcare business is identifying the structure for your business. Healthcare is a business where one needs to ensure that everything is structured in an organized and adequate manner. Because if the structure will be inadequate, then expecting the enhanced result from the business is difficult.

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You need to focus on the structure of the business equally like gathering the information. You need to assess that what sort of structure you intend for the healthcare business.

Deciding the business planning and strategy

Business plan and strategy is significant if you intend for the successful results. You must initiate making an idea of the business that is detailed. Make sure that the method includes identification of the requirement, CPT codes information with the anticipated reimbursements.

You must also include assessing things like what you should charge, anticipated growth rate, plan for business development and the strategies for marketing. All of these things are very essentials for starting healthcare business.

Location hunting

Once the other discusses steps are followed, then you need to search for the location where you can set up the business. There are a lot of things which you require considering while looking for such as a suitable area, distance from the populated area etc.

You need to see that the healthcare services are easily accessible to the patients. Also make sure to consider the prices, local reference sources, competitors in the location, and options for parking, accessibility and local demographics. Once of all these things are ensured then carry forward with the plan.

Get the paperwork done

The paperwork is significant for any business, and same is the case with the healthcare industry. Getting the paperwork done beforehand is something that safeguards you from any legal issues in the future. If you are planning to settle the business as a sole proprietor, then you should use your SSN or social security number for the tax.

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You can also contact businesses that specialize in insurance and get all things finalized for covering your business with the excellent policy of insurance. There are other things you require taking care of such as credentials, medical coverage, forms for patient etc.

Develop policies and procedures

Developing the policies and procedures in a proper manner is again an important step. You should ensure that once the paperwork is done, then you work on developing the policies and procedures. It will include policies for patients and staff.

Policies and procedures developed for the business help in confirming that the business is following the professionalism.

Recruit and hire staff

Another step that you need to accumulate in the healthcare business plan is recruiting and hiring the staff. Set the proper criteria and make sure that you hire the professionals. You can also hire freshers but then for settling the business this is not a good idea.

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You have to ascertain that hired staff is not only professional but also expert in their field. Always keep in mind that employee satisfaction is equal to the customer satisfaction. So, you need including specific policies but also ensure about covering the benefits for staff as well.

Funding

You require deciding about from where you must get funds for the plan of your business. You can consider taking small business loans as they are helpful for settling up your business at the initial level. There are a lot of banks and monetary institutions providing these loans.

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Funding is an essential step for any business so it must be properly planned. Thus, as we all know that healthcare business requires investment, so you also need funds for the successful plan.

Marketing

Marketing the business is one of the significant steps for any business and so is for healthcare as well. There is massive competition in the market; you must promote your business efficiently and proficiently. It is essential so that your business can reach out to the physiotherapist gold coast vast number of customers or patients.

You can also consider planning a website design for the healthcare business. It wouldn’t only help you in gaining more customers but also will help you in the better promotion for your business.

Put it all together

Starting a healthcare business can be, but with the appropriate plan and strategy, it is not that tough. First of all, you need require focusing on your project and dream as only then you can reach the level of success you wish for.

Tips mentioned above or steps are something that would help you in accomplishing the success for business you have been planning for a long time.

Integrating Technology Into Your Home

(Image Free To Use: https://pixabay.com/en/smart-home-system-collection-bulb-3720021/)

When it comes to smart homes, people generally don’t know where to start. Integrating technology into your home can sound like a daunting endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be! Take your home from bland to grand with these 5 tips.

Nix the old vacuum:

First things first, robot vacuums are starting to become a standard appliance in most homes. Even homes that have no other smart home integrations have robot vacuums.

Traditional upright vacuums can be great, and some people may prefer some cordless vacuum options rather than opting for a robot vacuum right out of the gate.

Since their launch over two decades ago, robot vacuums have come a long way. Today, they are much smarter and much more affordable than ever before. With a robot vacuum, you can set it and forget it!

Get a voice assistant

There are multiple options when it comes to virtual assistants. The most popular are Google Voice, and Amazon Alexa. Depending on which brand you like better will determine which is best for you. The Google Voice generally favors other google products, so if you opt for that one, be sure any of the other smart home devices you have are compatible.

Once you have your voice assistant set up, controlling it (and all of the smart home tech you have connected to it) is as easy as saying the command. The following smart home tech can easily be hooked up to your voice assistant.

Install smart lights

This may sound a bit silly, but smart lights are actually one of the most popular and easy to set up smart home technology options available. With smart lights, you can connected to your voice assistant to control things such as on and off, dimmers, color, and more. With some setups, you can even set timers on the lights. If you want, you can set your lights to turn on when you wake up. That way, you’re gently and naturally woken up rather than scared awake by a blaring alarm clock.

Get a smart garage door opener

Gone are the days of worrying about whether or not you shut the garage door. With a smart garage door you always know if your garage is open or closed, when it was last accessed, and can close it remotely if you accidentally left it open. There are many options available for setting up a smart garage door. Almost all of them are wifi/app enabled which gives you the ability to monitor your garage from anywhere. If you’re expecting guests, you don’t have to leave them a key. Rather, just have them give you a call when they arrive and you can jump in your app and open the garage door for them from wherever you are.

Get creative

There are many ways to create a smart home outside of simply buying out the box items. With things like near-field sensors and the right configurations, you can get incredibly creative with your smart home. If you want it, you can guarantee there’s a way to program it with the right technology.

What smart home ideas do you have?

Which types of smart home ideas do you think are the most practical? With today’s technology, the possibilities are truly endless.

8 Things People-Oriented HR Professionals Do Differently

There are several management styles currently in favor. Task-oriented management styles and people-oriented styles represent two popular schools of thought related to management best practices. As is suggested by the names, the people-oriented style focuses on employees first and foremost. Comparatively, a task-oriented style focuses on the satisfactory completion of tasks as the main objective, with people-management relegated to a lower priority status.

Below are things that people-oriented HR professionals do differently.

1. Lead by example to help employees manage stress.

Stress is one of the main health issues that employees face. People-oriented managers know that the best way to encourage healthy behavior is through modeling that behavior in their own life. Promoting healthy behavior that lowers stress levels means working few if any overtime hours and not emailing employees over the weekend.

Managers should take vacation days and mental health days as needed, so that employees understand that this behavior is acceptable and encouraged. Far too many employees skip vacations because they worry that the lost time will put them at a disadvantage in the workplace.

2. Stay active and keep employees motivated and active.

Maintaining a high-energy level is a main objective for HR managers seeking the best results for all parties concerned. Managers who care about employees know that keeping them active throughout the day benefits both the employees and company. A few strategic choices can make a lot of difference.

Taking walks to discuss something with an employee instead of a sit-down meeting is one idea. Forward thinking HR managers also provide the option of using standing desks. Since management always sets the tone and expectations, it is key that employees see HR managers taking frequent breaks and getting up to stretch or take a walk on a regular basis.

3. Verbally show your gratitude on a regular basis.

A simple “thank you” goes a long way with employees. While it is widely accepted that employees work for the money, what is also recognized by experienced HR professionals is that employees truly appreciate kind words and appreciation. These meaningful gestures boost morale and create a positive and welcoming work environment.

4. Implement fun and simple wellness initiatives.

Complicated changes are difficult to implement. Forming a walking club at lunch and changing out sugary, fat sweets and replacing them with fruit and healthy snacks in the break room are two simple ways to make a difference.

5. Offer classes to teach employees about stress-busting habits, nutrition and exercise programs.

Creating an environment where health and wellness are encouraged makes employees feel appreciated. By providing classes, employees can gain insights and knowledge about incorporating healthy habits into their life. This management practice helps staff members shift their mindset towards healthy habits and has proven to also lower costs related to healthcare expenses and lost productivity from work due to absenteeism.

6. Provide employees with 30-minutes of paid exercise time to be used at the company gym or to take an exercise class on-site.

One of the reasons employees don’t exercise is because they say they are too busy. That’s why it is so important for corporate HR professionals to strongly encourage healthy habits. Nothing shows corporate commitment to an idea like backing it financially.

7. Practice regular communication to discuss goals, challenges and progress.

Employees work best when they feel connected and can express their concerns about work objectives. There is nothing more frustrating than being charged with a responsibility but being unable to perform well due to a lack of resources like information, training or technology. By making it easy to obtain assistance or direction when necessary, employee morale remains high.

For example, if an employee is struggling with IT issues and can send a simple email to get immediate help, then stress levels and productivity are minimally impacted. There should never be any doubt in an employee’s mind about how to get the help they need.

Regular feedback about performance is also mandatory for morale and to achieve the best results. Without regular feedback, problems can spiral out of control impacting both the employee and company negatively. This is a communication issue and can be easily prevented with regularly-scheduled feedback from managers.

8. Commit adequate resources to train employees as needed.

Well-trained employees are happier and more prepared to meet corporate objectives. For best results, it is crucial that training classes are held regularly and as needed. Training manuals should also be upgraded and made available so that employees can consult them as needed.

Good training is the foundation for excellent performance and employee satisfaction. All employees want to do their best. It is important to remember that training tools should be designed for the different ways people learn.

Some staff members are audio learners and others do their best in hands-on learning environments. A third group wants to see their training materials in writing. Covering all the bases with a variety of training tools will yield the best results.

Final Thoughts

HR professionals have a lot of power to shape the workplace. By employing strategies aimed at making employees happier and more productive, any company stands to benefit.

People-oriented HR leaders recognize the fact that taking care of employees equates to taking care of the company.

7 Design Tips For Your Startup Office

Workspace is not merely the place where people work, but it is a microcosm of its own. The design of an office space is by all means not trivial, especially for startups. For them, every little detail can make or break the newly founded company. Office space design can be used not only to boost productivity but the much-needed creativity which guarantees that the product or service provided by the startup will be a hit in the market. We have compiled a list of 7 design tips that you can use for your startup.

Colors

Choosing the right overall color is interior design one-on-one. When it comes to office space, then mild colors are the way to go. You can choose a shade to your liking, even orange or yellow. However, don’t implement tacky colors as they will distract the employees from the work beforehand. The safest option would be the color grey and all of its numerous shades. This can be coupled with brown furniture or black and white wallpapers.

Plants

Although office space is usually located in an urban area, that does mean that nature is unwelcome here. There should be plants all around the office if nothing, then at least small potted ones. If you really wish to make the space verdant, then use climbers that can be placed near window areas. They will act are sculptural ornaments and help the employees relax by reducing stress levels. This increases productivity and has many more benefits for the workforce.

Plenty of light

Placing plants in the office will ensure there is enough air, but there should be plenty of light as well. If the office is way high up in a skyscraper, make use of this by keeping the window panes unobstructed. Dim spaces make the workers sleepy or moody which is not the effect you want to achieve. Also, try not to pile up stuff inside the office since the impression of spaciousness and airiness is lost.

Mats

Your office should be trendy and modern. Believe it or not, but floor mats are the latest trend, so make sure they are in front of every door. Their sole purpose is not only wiping feet, but there are anti-slip and anti-fatigue mats as well. If the workspace is dangerous in any way, you might consider placing these around the hazardous area. Also, you can order personalized mats that the best employees could choose the design for each month, for example.

Books

Walls can be perceived as canvases for artwork, but there is an even better way to cover them. Order customized shelves that will be stocked up with books, and a lot of them. This will add to the uniqueness of the space and individuality you wish to develop in your employees. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to peruse through the books they like during the pauses. If you have trouble acquiring the books in large quantities, go to the local library, books are written off all the time. Some of them are even vintage-bound, which is another design point to adhere to.

Vintage and modern

If the office is all vintage styled, then you are turning it into a lounge for hipsters and not much work will be done. On the other hand, if it’s all modern, then it becomes too sterile for any creative work to be carried out. The answer is not in the extremes but in the balance between vintage and modern elements that will add a touch of luxury to the space.

The meeting room

So far, we haven’t discussed particular rooms inside the office. The reception desk and lounge areas have their importance, but it is the meeting room that should receive the most attention. This is the places where important decisions are made and where productivity and creativity should reach their peak. Design this room separately by choosing different colors and furnishing it differently from the rest of the office. If possible, make it more luxurious as well.

From the color palette to wall decorations, a startup office should be all about balance. Interior design should reflect the work-life balance you wish to accomplish in your employees. This way they will have a chance to be creative and show their full potential. Properly decorating the office space should be an integral part of any startup’s business strategy.

8 Financial Tips for Startup Entrepreneurs

Startup entrepreneurs have a lot to handle and for that, they deserve a round of applause. However, there are several things they always need to keep in order to see their business ventures grow. One of those and probably the most important one is paying attention to finances.

In order to keep that in check, here are several financial tips and recommendations that will help you manage your finances more efficiently.

1. Value your time

One of the most important things you can do for your startup is to value your time. This means you will have to organize well and spend less time on things that spend money, like unnecessary meetings.

For example, instead of traveling and paying restaurant bills, choose the meetings that can be done with video chat and conference calls. This is especially useful if you have to travel internationally or have several meetings per day. Although you won’t be able to do all the meetings this way, after prioritization you will notice considerably fewer expenses for this.

2. Expect the worst

Bad things will happen so it’s always wise to have a contingency plan when that happens. Set aside savings that will cover your expenses for at least six months if you experience a financial setback. That is enough to get you covered and give you enough time to resolve the issues and determine what to do next.

3. Manage your cash flow

Running out of money is the most common reason startups fail. Therefore, you must know where your money is coming from and on what you are spending it. This is a basic cash flow management which is an integral part of any business and staying on top of it is imperative for success.

In order to do so, create a financial plan that will include all the expenses and stick to it. Leave some room for unpredicted expenditures, but always make sure that you are within your designated budget.

4. Define your goals

You can’t create an effective financial plan without defining your business goals. They will tell you exactly how much money you will need, as well as help you prioritize your activities. The best way to define the goals is through milestones and deadlines.

This will help you mitigate the risks of wasting time on unsuccessful ideas by providing you means to track your progress. If you notice that something needs adjusting and improving, you will notice it through milestones and be able to fix it in time.

5. Keep an eye on your credit score

During your startup business venture, you will probably have to apply for capital finance loans. In order to approve your application, the creditors will evaluate your credit score. If your credit score is bad, you will probably either be declined for a loan or get unfavorable conditions, like a higher interest rate.

To avoid this, you can be careful with your finances from the start in order to have a better score. For example, pay your bills on time, take care of your debts, and don’t overspend on your credit cards’ balance.

6. Keep records of expenses

Keeping a record of your expenses is demanding, but it is also as important as creating a budget and business plan. First of all, you will need this information for taxes and creditors if you decide to apply for the loan. Secondly, it will help you track your spending habits which you can then change if not appropriate or damaging to your finances.

If you don’t have the time for this even with a bookkeeping software, hire an accountant to do so. They will not only know what to do but will also advise you on the best course of action in case of trouble.

7. Invest in your employees

Depending on your finances, you can invest in your employees in order to boost productivity, but also to prevent bigger expenses. By paying and organizing for regular medical checks, your employees will be able to stay healthy and spend less on healthcare bills. Also, training and education programs can teach your employee’s more effective ways to do their job and get you above the competition.

8. Work on your marketing

A marketing campaign will help you determine your customers and know their expectations. If you want to create a product that is successful on the market, you need to know your potential buyers. This all starts with determining your first customer which you can basically go through a survey.

You can do this through social media, your website or by hiring a marketing agency that will do a complete marketing campaign for you. The feedback you will get will tell you who are your customers and how to adjust your products so they would definitely buy it.

Finally

Every beginning is challenging and needs a lot of work in order to create something stable enough for further development. All startup entrepreneurs go through this process, but the outcome is what counts. By implementing sound financial tips and with a focused strategy, you will be able to create a successful startup that you can grow and expand into something bigger.